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Azerbaijan Education and Training



When Azerbaijan suffered from Tsarist Russia, the country was a center of learning for the Muslims of the kingdom, but at the same time the majority of the Azeri were illiterate. During the Soviet era (1920–1991) literacy increased from less than 10 percent in the mid-1920s to almost 100 percent in 1970.

After independence from the Soviet Union, the school system has been given reduced resources.

  • Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of Azerbaijan, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and universities.
  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Azerbaijan, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

There is nine years of compulsory schooling from the age of six. Almost all children complete primary school. Nearly one in four children attend voluntary preschool, while just under half of the students attended high school in the early 2010s.

There are around 50 institutions of higher education, of which over a dozen are private universities. The great economic importance of the oil industry to the country means that many students choose to study in technical professions, including at the State Oil and Chemistry Institute, which was founded in 1920. Many highly educated have left the country.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

93.7 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

15 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

99.8 percent (2016)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

8.2 percent (2016)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

8.2 percent (2016)



Elections announced for February

December 5

President Ailyev will issue a decree dissolving Parliament and holding elections at the beginning of next year. The election date is set for February 9. It is eight months before the scheduled date - November 1, 2020.

Parliament votes for new elections

December 2

The MPs call on President Aliyev to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections as soon as possible. The proposal is adopted with 99 votes in favor and one against. No justification is given, but a week earlier, the New Azerbaijan leader has said that "Parliament's composition must be renewed as part of the reforms carried out by President Aliyev". In October, the government was reformed following criticism by President Aliyev (see October 8, 2019).


Police stop protest

November 12

A couple of dozen regime critics are arrested when the police prevent the Opposition Equality Party (Müsavat) from conducting a protest against lack of freedom of assembly at the Baku City Hall. The party's chairman Arif Hacılı (in English often spelled Gadjily) is already arrested in advance. It was intended that the demonstration would coincide with the anniversary of the constitution adopted by Azerbaijan in 1995, in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Constitution states that the country must be a democracy.


Protests of the Popular Front are broken

October 19

The opposition party People's Front is trying to demonstrate in central Baku against low wages, corruption and lack of democracy. Leader Ali Karimli (Əli Kərimli) is arrested, and after him at least 80 party mates, witnesses told Reuters news agency.

The promise of gun-free service did not become law

October 17

The European Court of Human Rights convicts Azerbaijan to pay damages to five people, all members of the community of Jehovah's Witnesses who were convicted of refusal to do military service. The state has pledged before the Council of Europe to enable arms-free service, but has not adopted any law permitting it, the court points out.

The President replaces employees

October 8

Ali Asadov, the time of the owners financial adviser and long-standing ally of President Ilham Aliyev, will be the new prime minister. The N gene, explain why predecessor resigned suddenly. Two weeks later, other people in the president's immediate circle are also replaced, among them the longtime head of the presidential office. Aliyev, during the month, makes statements criticizing the government, which he accuses of opposing reforms. Among the people who are petitioned from their positions of power are several who have been influential ever since Father Heydar Aliyev's time.


Attacks on Mayor

July 3

In the country's second largest city Gəncə, an assassination testifies to dissatisfaction with the governing body. Mayor Elmar Veliyev faces an assassination attempt, which according to authorities is carried out by an extremist trained by Islamists in Syria. City dwellers give a slightly different picture of the events, but also it stems from the fact that religious circles feel persecuted by the secular regime. The mayor is described as imperious and accused of treating the city as his personal loan. A suspect for the murder attempt is arrested and two police officers are killed a week later when the arrest triggers protests.


Ignored in court, penalty is expected

May 29th

In August 2018, opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov (İlqar Məmmədov) was released conditionally. He had been forced to sit in prison for five years despite the fact that the European Court of Human Rights had already concluded in 2014 that the prison country was illegal and constituted a violation of an international human rights convention. Now the Council of Europe will allow a Council of Ministers to decide how to act against Azerbaijan also choosing to ignore the court's ruling.


Activists among pardoned prisoners

March 16

The president pardons 431 prisoners. Among those covered by the amnesty are dozens of activists who are referred to as political prisoners. Some of them belong to a youth movement called Nida.

Armenia on military exercise: "Weapon rattle"

11th of March

Azerbaijan is launching a major military exercise. The exercise will last for five days and involve 10,000 soldiers, 500 armored vehicles, 20 fighter aircraft and up to 300 artillery units. Neighboring Armenia states in a statement that the exercise hardly fosters peace. The two countries have long disagreed with Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave held by Armenian forces but surrounded by Azerbaijani territory. A time has been planned for the country's highest leaders to meet, but no date has been set.

Adults are vaccinated against measles

4th of March

A vaccination campaign targeting adults aged 20-40 will be implemented in Baku and other cities in the spring. Since December, about 150 cases have been reported - and almost everyone who has been infected is adults. The neighboring countries have discovered significantly more cases, but the infection raises concerns nonetheless, as many have not been vaccinated as children.


Criticism against the state for the treatment of activists

January 10

The European Court of Human Rights has concluded that the Baku government will pay the equivalent of SEK 175,000 in damages to the tomb reporter and activist Khadija Ismajilova (Xədicə İsmayılova) as a result of her private life being violated. Ismajilova was blackmailed in 2012 - including a sex video filmed with a hidden camera in her home, a video posted online - and the state has neglected to investigate the incident. The court says it has not been possible to prove that it was the state itself that was behind the infringement. For a number of years, Ismajilova examined the regime of Aliyev, which in various ways has put obstacles in the way of scrutiny (see December 21, 2018).



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